I have read many novels, but reading Aniruddha Bose’s ‘Canvas’ was really a novel experience. Initially I began to read it casually more out of curiosity to know what my childhood friend would have written. As I progressed and got involved in its intricacies, I got engrossed fully and was awe struck, to see the fine balance the author has maintained in carrying through the thread.

It is certainly amazing how he could first deconstruct seven different characters (seven colours of the rainbow) and then reconstruct the same to blend as one character, much like the VIBGYOR’s beautiful final shape. Certainly a very challenging task but the author seems to thrive and even relish such challenges. The characters blend neatly, situations are intricately conceived and Nandini the central character emerges successfully after the ‘catharsis’.

Aniruddha Bose could have quietly taken the easier route and written seven separate novels, but that would have done grave injustice to the rainbow we call life. It is to his credit that he could achieve a great degree of synthesis and paint on his Canvas a submerged but triumphant image.

I perceived an undercurrent of the mystique and spiritual quest running profusely throughout the novel culminating in the eulogising of the Supreme Being in the last line ‘O Miti Brahma’ which is a profound statement from the Upanishad.

Nandini does not let her escapades and experiences in different places and times haunt her and turn her into a brooding morose woman. Rather, she undergoes a purge in the seven stages of metamorphoses and evolves finally as a spiritual being. This concept of evolution is well brought forth in the poignant story.

Descriptions are crisp and dialogues are pithy and tight. Every page takes you naturally to the next. The only thing this novel demands is your full concentration. The more you concentrate, the more you can enjoy reading the book.

I congratulate Aniruddha for accomplishing a tough task with consummate artistry. His experience gained in writing earlier novels, his erudition and sharp insight into human psyche has helped him weave a fine and wholesome image in his ‘Canvas’. I am sure his pen will flower further.

God Bless.

Review of Canvas

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